Notable Cast: Mercedes Masohn, Mattie Liptak, Josh Cooke
Review: I’m very outspoken about my love for Spanish zombie flick [REC], and equally outspoken for my displeasure with the American remake Quarantine. I couldn’t get past how much better Balagueró/Plaza’s original version was, taking me out of Quarantine all together. Thankfully, the American sequel decided to branch out and create a story of its own, instead of just remaking one of the best sequels I’ve ever seen in [REC] 2. It’s smart because A) there’s no way an American remake could have touched how good [REC] 2 was and B) pretentious pricks like me can’t complain the original was better. I could watch Quarantine 2 as a standalone film, and rate it with an open mind. For better or for worse. Quarantine 2 at least has a little more of the feel of the [REC] franchise, but my biggest complaint is the fear is still missing. When I watch either [REC], I’m always amazed with how grippingly intense and involved the films are. These horrific roller coaster rides still have me jumping after numerous views. But both here and in Quarantine, I don’t get that same ghoulish aura hovering over me. Quarantine 2 decides to ditch the first person camera view, which really separates it from the first, but sticks it in a category with numerous other straight to DVD zombie lore. You’re getting what you expect with Quarantine 2 to say the least, so as long as you’re OK with that, Pogue’s crack at the franchise is sure to keep you mildly amused.
Occurring the same night as the original Quarantine, this time the virus is discovered aboard a small aircraft leaving Los Angeles. Young flight attendant Jenny (Masohn) starts to notice peculiar behavior from one of the passengers, and the small aircraft has to emergency land when the man displays signs of a “human rabies.” With no idea how to handle the situation, the plane is evacuated into the under workings of an aircraft terminal. But when they try to leave, the passengers find out they’ve been sealed in the terminal as basic quarantine protocol. With no help from the government and a spreading virus, Jenny must band the remaining survivors together in order to survive the night. As if flying wasn’t hard enough these days…
Hmm…still look like human rabies?
Let me just say Quarantine 2: Terminal only took a few minutes to rub me the wrong way by having one of the most clichéd introductions ever. The scene where you meet every character on the plane used every sob story in the book in order to try and force some connection with the characters. You’ve got your pregnant woman like 8 months along with her baby and the proud father. You’ve got the old elderly couple seeing their newborn grandchild for the first time, but it’s also a twofer because grandpa is also a mute in a wheelchair, striking up some more pity votes. Of course the soldier character has to be returning to her family for the first time in ages, so again you got your patriotic vote mixed with long distance sympathy. Don’t forget the engaged stewardess just wanting to go home to her hubby or the dad with a wife and three-year old waiting for him at home. Please, I don’t really care that the poor old man just wants to see his grandkid, because you already know he’s obviously screwed. If you’re taking the time to build up some touchy-feely back story and trying to make us want to care about a character, he’s probably going to be the first to die. Fact of the matter is though, every death should be as powerful as the last, even if the bastard was on his way to adopt a whole village of starving African babies. I can’t stand when films try to take the easy way out and build relationships between audience and character by force. It shouldn’t matter if a zombie is munching on a humanitarian or a burglar. Either way, I should still sympathize that the poor schlub is nothing more than a meal. I just couldn’t help but roll my eyes, thinking what sad circumstance the next passenger was going to ramble off.
Quarantine 2: Terminal also loses the claustrophobic feeling the apartment building had, as obviously the whole story couldn’t take place on the tiny commercial airliner. There was a ton of open space under the terminal, and the passengers didn’t appear to be in as much danger as threats could be spotted far away. This again plays to the lack of fear, because at least in the apartment’s danger could be lurking around any corner. Here it was more or less hear something far away, and you just turn and book it the opposite way. Plenty of spaces to hide from the few infected actually loose.
I will say Pogue did a good job making the infected passengers look vicious though. Every time one of them would attack, Pogue would have a nice ground shaking effect initially, and then set the zombies full speed against the survivors. Some of the fear is made up because having a sprinting flesh-eater versus a lumbering one ramps up the intensity. Pogue can get away with it too because this is an infection film and not a straight out zombie flick, which he used to his advantage. These chase scenes were well executed, and managed to add some life to the film.
So I mean, Quarantine 2: Terminal isn’t going to blow you away by any means, but it also won’t make you want to break the DVD in half after watching. It does deliver some pretty decent zombie carnage, but tends to falter in the terror category. No matter how hard the film tried to make me feel for these poor characters, I couldn’t help but picture them as nothing but “infected” chow. Don’t really care who’s meeting their long-lost separated at birth twin, I just want be entertained. Quarantine 2: Terminal is nothing but a mundane horror watch, never having anything memorable to set it aside from the slew of other genre films it can be compared to. I could have lived without seeing this almost unnecessary sequel, but at the same time am very intrigued to see if they play with a third Quarantine. The last shot shows a very famous city in the distance, suggesting that’s the next place our mystery disease will spread to. We can only hope hell will break loose under the town’s bright lights. Until then though, prepare to be underwhelmed by Quarantine 2: Terminal.
Final Rating: 5.5 pesky little lab rats out of 10
I also hated how every attack was pretty much one infected at a time, making it incredibly manageable to face. Someone needed to teach these braindeads some strategy.